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mtomm

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Posts posted by mtomm

  1. 10 hours ago, Calm said:

    Unless he has made an agreement with his bishop, I would think.  Is there anything in the handbook forbidding this?

    added:  I don't see tithing as having to be paid out of one's increase.  If one owes tithing, one can pull it from one's current paycheck or from a stash of cash underneath one's mattress that has been there for years.  Cleaning the walks are something of value, but it can be designated as a freely given act of service or as inkind work as far as I can see.  There is nothing inherent to the act of not making an invoice that turns the work into charitable service of no monetary value.

    I suspect some bishops would even be okay if told after the fact about it if it is presented as a necessity rather than just avoiding paperwork or something, especially if they knew the person's situation and that they had difficulty in creating cash opportunities or their situation had changed dramatically (they had intended paying tithing on the year's income at the end of the year with their usual bonus or maybe seasonal work as they had in the past, but this year something interfered such as being laid off or they were sick and missed the hiring date for their usual seasonal job...when I worked at a toy store there was a friend of the owner who came to work the last month or so of the year every year).

    I think tithing being money is a more useful approach in terms of spiritual and emotional growth to the experience of giving tithing than inkind donations because the psychological impact of money is different than thinking of hours of work or something one owns.  Money represents potential, choice, freedom because it can be applied to anything.  It is a different type of sacrifice in some ways imo than an equivalent number of hours of work or possession value.  

    However, I can see there might be times when setting apart part of one's day to work for the Lord as tithing that could have an strong spiritual impact as a special consecration of one's life to the Lord, just as a full time missionary experience is a different type of consecration than preparing and giving a Primary lesson weekly or other callings that tend to be fitted in around our daily mundane activities.

    Very thoughtful and Christlike. 

    People will receive very different things from "paying" tithes. I think we should recognize that not everyone has the same things to learn and accomplish from moment to moment as we do. 

     

  2. 1 hour ago, Amulek said:

    Except that isn't income. You weren't actually employed by the church to plow the parking lot, so there is no invoice at all - it's something you are doing on your own as an act of service. A potentially valuable service, but it's service nonetheless.

    Which you kind of know, deep down, is really the case, right?

    I mean, if you were to get injured while plowing the church parking lot, do you think you would be able to place a worker's comp claim with your insurance company? Of course not, because the injury isn't actually work related.

     

     

    Here is the rest of the plow story you left out from above.

    "You have a contractor who does snow removal at churches.  He has a contract, insurance and obviously the ability.  He doesn't invoice for part of his services.  He pays tithing partly in his time and service and partly with his work."

    So, yes, I am contracted but I don't invoice for the amount I want to count as tithing.

    I bring this type of example because I think perhaps that  this happens. I may be in a position to have a pretty good idea that it does. It's what got me thinking about it. 

     

  3. 3 hours ago, pogi said:

    I apologize if I sounded accusatory, not my intent.  Even if your tax bracket stayed the same, if you don't invoice for work performed but instead count it as payment for tithing, it is as if the Church paid you under the table without going through the government.  You might be paying tithing on it, but you are avoiding taxes on that invoice.

    Yes, as the bracket only determines the rate. My bad. 

  4. 2 hours ago, pogi said:

    I apologize if I sounded accusatory, not my intent.  Even if your tax bracket stayed the same, if you don't invoice for work performed but instead count it as payment for tithing, it is as if the Church paid you under the table without going through the government.  You might be paying tithing on it, but you are avoiding taxes on that invoice.

    No offense taken. This is the type of discussion I was hoping would happen, all of the considerations. 

    I think bartering can happen without it being a tax problem, that like Calm outlined?

    It was a good example. 

  5. 33 minutes ago, Attalus said:

    I see the question as How you should calculate what you give in proportion to what you have received?, so if you are considering giving in-kind from what you have received in services rather than money, then you need to know the value of the services that you have received.

    The link in your OP gave examples of giving a tenth of real estate or shares of stock that were received by someone wanting to give in-kind to what they had received.   You don't need to know the value of something like that,  you simply give a tenth of what was received.

    If you're trying to give a tenth of the monetary value of some service you received and deduct that monetary value from the money you give as a tenth of the cash you have received, you would need to somehow put a monetary value on that service you received and then deduct that monetary amount from the tithe of the total cash you received in one year.

    What you give is supposed to be directly related to what you have received, so if you receive eggs and want to give a tenth of those eggs you received just give a tenth of the eggs.  And if you want to give a tenth of the money you received you would just give a tenth of that money.

    Converting eggs to money, or snow plow jobs to money, doesn't change the equation for how much you should give as a tithe.  If you receive 100 snow plow jobs and want to give a tenth of those as a tithe you just do 10 plow jobs and call it good.

    Yes, I realize the in-kind scenario is more complicated. And I see what you mean by how do you calculate what you've received.  

  6. 44 minutes ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

    So, as I mentioned, I'm a finance clerk.  This is my 4th or 5th year of assisting during tithing settlement.  All bishops are different in what they want of me during this process.  When people show up for tithing settlement, some bishops wanted me to ask them if they wanted me to print a donation summary out.  Some bishops tell me to print nothing out unless the member/family asks.  My current bishop tells me to print out a donation summary for everyone that comes in.  That's how my past 3-4 bishops have been different.

    Here is how my past 3-4 bishops are the same:
    - None of them actually review the amount donated.  They don't even look at the piece of paper.
    - All of them merely ask "Have you paid a full tithe?".  If members wish to discuss details or ask questions or whatever, the bishop is happy to help.
    - All the bishops are 50% stressed out at how busy they are at Christmastime, and 50% grateful for the opportunity to meet with individuals and families 1 on 1 for tithing settlement.  They all tell me that important spiritual things get surfaced and discussed during tithing settlement. They all tell me that tithing settlement is a productive time to help members get things resolved, and move the work of the kingdom forward in hearts.

    From this perspective, how we go about paying tithing takes 2nd place, to the opportunity to answer to our bishop about how we've fulfilled our stewardship during the year.  And details like dollar amounts, or how it's paid, don't even make the list.

     

    My husband, as bishop,  felt the same way about tithing settlement.  It was a crazy busy time but he loved visiting with the members.  Not really applicable to the conversation, however. Obviously, the in-kind amount would not show on a printed statement. 

  7. 1 hour ago, pogi said:

    What would be the purpose of this other than to cheat the government out of taxes?  Why not just invoice for all work performed and pay tithing on that?  

    Hadn't even occurred to me that it would be cheating on taxes.  But it would only be cheating on taxes if your tax bracket changed because you removed the amount you paid in tithing and lowered your rate. And there is a pretty large range for each tax bracket.   I'm not trying to be dishonest I just think it's an interesting concept to discuss.  

  8. 13 minutes ago, Attalus said:

    My understanding of our modern teachings about tithing is that tithing is now defined as 1/10th of our interest or increase annually and is based on the amount of money we receive, rather than being based on any goods or services we may receive.

    Which means to me that if I receive any goods or services but receive no money in any given year, I am not expected to pay any tithing because i received no money.  The goods and services I received are not subject to tithing.  So for example if someone gave me a  car worth $30,000 when it was given to me, I would not be obligated to sell that car for its monetary value or to pay $3000 as a tithe even though the car was determined to be worth $30,000 when I received it.  I am only expected to pay a tithe on any money that I receive.

    I appreciate this otherwise it would be very difficult for me to determine how much I should pay as a tithe/ given the fact that all of the services and goods I receive could be worth who knows how much money if I had to buy it or put a monetary value on it.

    https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1986/12/the-divine-law-of-tithing?lang=eng

     

    I'm not sure  what this has to do with what I'm discussing.  How much I owe in tithing isn't the question.

     

    40 minutes ago, Metis_LDS said:

    You would be correct,  except when you try to pay tithing with service.  I am not good at writing but I will try this.  If you have an ordinary customer you still establish value by price,  Customer likes you and the price or the customer can try and bargain or just refuse your offer.  So the Church agrees to take service as tithing.  Would you just say Oh Well this is what I charge and the Church would have no option but to accept your set value.  Because you are not paying in currency or goods you would need to agree on a value with the Bishop as what you are donating.   You could not just force the Church (read Lord) to accept what you said it was the worth.  Do not confuse tithing settlement with the worth of donations.  Bishops I have worked with are happy to write down whatever you say at settlement unless you have no record of any donations then there would be a problem even saying you were a part tithe payer.   Paying tithing requires value judgement on our part we decide what we put in the envelope.  Whatever is in the envelope has a value beyond what we decided.  It stands on it's own.  Services are not like that.

    The Church can agree to my services.  After that I decide the value of my service in tithing dollars.  Nowhere do I need to state the value of my services unless I'm sending an invoice that I don't expect to be paid and there would be no reason to do that. 

    I can see that I'm being to vague. 

    If I  estimate I going to make $40,000 plowing snow and mowing lawns in 2020 I know that I owe $4000 in tithing.  

    If I plow a church parking lot 10 times,  and don't invoice my normal $100 fee per plow, I can I count that as $1000 tithing.  Or if I'm not honest it counts as $4000 tithing. Either way it's only done on the ledger sheet in my mind.  It makes no difference to the Church what my ledger sheet says. 

  9. 5 minutes ago, Amulek said:

    It looks like an inefficient, giant pain in the rear for absolutely no good reason.

    In the ward I grew up in, there was a member who insisted on paying tithing in-kind (i.e., wheat, beans, whatever). He wasn't a farmer or anything; far from it, in fact - he was a medical doctor. But for some reason he was insistent on paying tithing in-kind. So he would go out and purchase the equivalent amount of commodities for what he owed in tithing for the entire year and then arrange to have that donated to the church. What an inefficient waste of everyone's time. /bleh

     

    And that's why I made further explanation because I wasn't talking about tangible goods. 

  10. 49 minutes ago, ksfisher said:

    Money donated to the church or to a food bank goes further than donating food. 

    A food bank, for example, is able to make bulk purchases (and without paying tax as well) so that your $1 that you donate can buy more food than you can. 

    (Food banks as for food because people respond better to that than a request for money.)

    Donating food to the church is much the same.  The church can produce or purchase goods and services at less expense than it would cost the members who, for example, would donate food to it.

    That is why I said I wasn't talking about tangible goods. 

     

    26 minutes ago, Metis_LDS said:

    Interesting topic.  Maybe mixing apples and pears.  Tithing still rests on 10%,  IMO and understanding services could not be counted as tithing. ( how do you establish 10% of a service).   So the tithing principle works with things one in ten eggs and cows etc... or a tenth of the crop harvest.  The major problem in things (what is not currency) is coming to an agreement on value.  Selling a thing yourself you establish value by the acceptance of the price you get for the item. If the Church sells it and you are not happy with the sale price this would create friction.

    If you are a service provider and you don't know the value of that service then you are probably in the wrong business.  Every service has value. 

    If I know my approximate income each year I know what 10% of that is.    I'm not having a discussion with the Bishop about how much money I owe in tithing, that is between me and the Lord.  I can be fair and honest or I can be dishonest.  I don't tell my Bishop how much I make an hour/month/year or per driveway I shovel nor should he ask. 

    If I were a piano tuner and  I tuned 5 pianos in the church I know the value of the service performed and  perhaps that would be a tithing contribution.  No one is keeping track of that amount except me.  

    Why do I have to come to an agreement with anyone as to my value?  Tithing is between the Lord and me.  I declare to the Bishop if I am a full tithe payer but there should never be discussion beyond that unless I choose.

    If I have to get a second job to pay my tithing in money all I'm doing is trading my service for money to give to the Church.  If I have the right service I could give it directly to the Church.  

    Yes, in-kind is much more messy than money.  And maybe too much bother but also maybe a possibility in some circumstances. 

    P.S. I am not a piano tuner. 

  11. I'm not talking about tangible things for the most part.  But food that is consumable could certainly be donated directly to a food bank, ours are always begging for donations.  But it would take a heck of a lot of eggs to pay someone's tithing.  

    The only person that needs to count my contributions that is not money or assets given to the Church  is me.  
    Let me give an example.
    You have a contractor who does snow removal at churches.  He has a contract, insurance and obviously the ability.  He doesn't invoice for part of his services.  He pays tithing partly in his time and service and partly with his work.  He then declares a full tithe even though "the books" won't reflect it monetarily.  What does he lose? The ability to deduct it on his taxes.  But with the higher exemptions already in place there is a good chunk of the population that doesn't itemize anyway, so no loss there.  

    I don't think time spent in a calling should count, as that is a different expectation.  Some coordination between leaders and the tithe payer might be required and I do see this as a roadblock.  But I already think it happens with members who provide services to the church already, it's just not being talked about or officially acknowledged, which is probably how it would have to work.   

    I'm just thinking outside the tithing box.  

     

    Although I would love the calling of ward clerk, I've not been given the opportunity.  

     

  12. I'm not talking about real estate or assests. I'm talking more about the old fashioned way of tithes. 

    Should we, as Church members, be able to secure a full or part-tithe with in-kind contributions?  

    What would that look like?

    How could that be accomplished?

    Why did it fall out of favor?

    I do have personal opportunities to donate actual, verifiable value to the Church. Should I be given the opportunity? 

    I've often witnessed situations where I've wondered if other members were doing so.  

    Is there direction in the Handbooks I am unaware of?

    Love to hear your thoughts. 

    ETA: I did find this. Still not what I'm thinking per se.

    https://tech.churchofjesuschrist.org/wiki/Donations_in_kind?action=edit

     

     

  13. 3 hours ago, Storm Rider said:

    I am creeped out by this guy, but I don't really know why specifically.  Even when a couple describes a specific set of characteristics about the anonymous sperm donor it does not mean that the DNA received has only those characteristics.  It really is a crap shoot for what DNA is passed on.

    Couple comes in, desperate for a child, gets child!  Hooray!!!  Is it the fact that they find out exactly who the sperm donor is? What damages have been inflicted?  Does the child have some disease directly tied to the donor DNA?  So the only problem really is that they find out who is the donor and nothing else.  

    I am getting the picture that we have a lot of people who like to set standards for the behavior of everyone else, but don't begin to use the same standard to judge others.  For example, you receive a gift from someone and don't use it.  Another couple would really like that gift and could use it - in fact, it would make them extremely happy.  You give them the gift and they are overjoyed.  Later, the couple finds out that you did not really buy the gift specifically for them, but you got the gift from someone else and re-gifted it.  At the point, the couple screams to high heavens they have been deceived by the couple that gave them the gift that they love.  Exactly what is the damage?  None.  However, there is "emotionally distress" caused by the fact they found out you did not really buy it for them.  How many have re-gifted a gift?  How many have given away items we just don't want or cannot use?  

    Dang, how about count your blessings?

    And, doctor, just don't. It is really creepy.  Of course, for me the entire thing gets to be a little creepy.  No, I don't want the doctor's sperm I want someone I don't know who just comes in and masturbates for money - I want their sperm.  Seriously!  There is not lovely picture here....except for the fact that a couple actually became parents and love their child, which is beautiful.  

    You sue to demonstrate that this is not acceptable behavior and hope that the threat of being found out and sued is a deterrent to others. 

  14. 53 minutes ago, CMZ said:

    Every such situation needs to be dealt with thoroughly and completely and efforts need to be made to ensure such things never happen again. I think what we have is a situation where individuals aren't perfect and they do bad things and then some leaders in the church (and we have a church where the distinction between "leaders" and "members" is blurry) don't know how to then handle things properly. It may be a matter of educating educating educating until everyone fully gets it. "This is not tolerated. Do not do it. It should never happen. If it does happen these solid measures will be taken." And so on. There should never ever be any tolerance or protecting the predator. I think a related problem is that there are people in the church who go through the motions of church activity publicly who may have never fully internalized the principles of the gospel so that they actually become guiding principles in their lives. And I think you can even get bishops and others who are more like the former and they don't handle these types of situations as they should and then their actions get taken by others as being representative of the entire Church.

    Yes. Policy and culture change are needed. 

  15. 14 minutes ago, Calm said:

    I would report this upstream to the area seventy and then General Authority over the area as I believe this is a standard policy...involved in child abuse, never allowed to work with children.  Local leaders may think they know better and decide to break the rules, but SL would likely insist it be changed.  You should be able to get name and contact info from a bishop or stake president.

    If you don't want to get it from yours, perhaps a friend who has a good relationship with their bishop can get the info from him.

    To have done so would have caused major discord in my own marriage. In fact, it did cause it. My husband was furious that I wasn't just accepting of the "we'll send him home" scenario and threatened to quit his bishop calling over my stubborness. I felt I did what I could to escalate it since this was not my family. Of course, in hindsight my husband also realizes the truth now. 

    But I shouldn't have had to. This is the culture of cover-up that everyone faithful LDS insists doesn't happen. Yet this is exactly what happened. The onus shouldn't have been on me! I'm not the one guilty of "passing the trash."  The parents should not have been lied to. If the culture truly is that this type of behavior is not tolerated then it would not have been tolerated. It's been 6 or 7 years now and I'm not convinced things are getting better. 

     

  16. 14 minutes ago, Jeanne said:

    Are you kidding me??  I would shout at the darn rooftops for such betrayal...!

    If this had been my family instead of just dear friends I would have been in a different position. The grandparents know the missionary was only transferred. I have not had the heart to ask them if they ever told their children the missionary was not sent home as they were told.  They chose to let the matter drop for a number of reasons mostly to just to keep the girls from being further questioned. 

  17. 10 minutes ago, provoman said:

     What do you see as the responsibility of the Church in this situation you describe?

    What is the “something be done” that the Church should have done?

    At the very minimum sent him home from his mission so he would understand the gravity of his depravity instead of just transferring him. 

  18. On 3/31/2018 at 2:41 PM, CMZ said:

    Not sure how people don't understand that there is a proper way to address these concerns. In fact they constantly repeat it in conference.

    I did this (not my own assault) and was completely rebuffed by my bishop (my husband) the stake president and the grandfather of the girls who were preyed upon. The parents were assured that the missionary was being sent home and dealt with properly there.  However, he was not sent home only re-assigned to a different community (my husband saw him shortly after).  I happen to agree with the interrupter because of my own experience. Stop covering up for sexual predators. 
    ETA: He was  reported to the sheriff who said that no charges could/should be brought. Apparently the little girls would actually have to lift their shirts as he asked and he would have actually had to have taken a picture of them instead of just pretending to. 

    I begged that something be done to prevent future victims. Deaf ears.

  19. If they haven't before  LDS members running for office will now have to contend with the perception that members have allegiance to the a church over their constituents.  Like concerns over Mitt Romney in 2012. That's a shame.

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